Required Reading

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In our industry we have come to realize that is it not nearly as important that our customers understand our strategies as it is for us to understand theirs. Our customers will be the ones that define what competitive advantage really means, whether overtly or not, and will somehow indicate that to us. To succeed, we had better be ready to listen and respond." --Robert Knebel, vice president of domestic sales, Citation division, Cessna Aircraft Company "I find it interesting how many people still think that CRM is this switch that you can simply buy, turn on, and say, 'Voila! Now everything is perfect.' That is not how it works. CRM is not a turnkey answer, because CRM is not a system--it is a process. Until you understand that it doesn't matter how much money you spend; you are not going to solve your sales, service, and marketing problems." --Sheryl Kingstone, program manager, CRM strategies planning service, Yankee Group The Sales and Marketing Experience Challenge: Changing How the Game is Played (Sales Mastery Press) is overflowing with insights like Knebel and Kingstone's, from leaders in numerous industries. Over the past year authors Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer have interviewed hundreds of sales and marketing executives about what they're doing to survive and thrive during these challenging times. The top three dozen interviews are included in The Sales and Marketing Experience Challenge
. www.csoinsights.com At 581 pages, Risks of Customer Relationship Management: A Security, Control, and Audit Approach is, well, thick with information. The tome, published by Information Systems Audit & Control Foundation and PricewaterhouseCoopers, covers the security, control, and audit issues regarding CRM business process, strategies, and technology types. It also covers project management, organizational change management, and privacy issues. www.isaca.org Companies are always looking for ways to ensure their CRM initiatives succeed. To help them do so, Prentice Hall PTR and HP Books have released Customer Relationship Management: Getting it Right, by Judith Kincaid. The book offers advice on how to bridge the communication gap that can often happen between the IT department and business management. It also suggests strategies that both groups can use to make their CRM projects successful, including defining goals, setting priorities, and creating a blueprint for designing, implementing, and managing a successful CRM program. www.phptr.com Marketing can generate ROI. So say authors Dave Sutton and Tom Klein in their new book, Enterprise Marketing Management: The New Science of Marketing (John Wiley & Sons). The book explains how to create compelling brand positioning that drives sales, transform that positioning into a brand experience that creates customer loyalty, and generate ROI from all marketing initiatives. The book includes examples, case studies, and step-by-step methodologies to achieve these goals. www.wiley.com The debate of whether truly great salesmanship is an innate ability or a learned skill may never have a clear winner. In the meantime, William "Skip" Miller has created a strategy for sales professionals to improve their skills significantly and quickly. According to Miller, successful salespeople share five traits: they think like their customers, they're proactive, they ask great questions, they qualify early, and they use the right tools at the right time. In Proactive Selling: Control the Process--Win the Sales (Amacom), Miller provides 15 sales tactics and 20 tools that salespeople can use immediately to guarantee their own success. Also new from Amacom is Email Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policies, Security, and Legal Issues for Email and Digital Communication, by Nancy Flynn and Randolph Kahn, Esquire. www.amacombooks.org
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